Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

Strategic directions of the Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (MCA)

1. Introduction

Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health are central to the agenda of primary health care. Healthy mothers can bear and raise healthy children who, when enabled to grow into healthy adolescents, are the foundation of future generations.

The document linked here sets out the strategic directions of the Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (MCA) in detail. These are summarised below.

2. Vision, mission, goals,targets and indicators

Vision

A world where every pregnant woman, newborn, child and adolescent enjoys the highest attainable standard of health and development.

Mission
  • Generate and synthesize evidence and define norms and standards for maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health;
  • support the adoption of evidence-based policies and strategies which conform to international human rights standards, including universal access to health care;
  • build capacity for high quality, integrated health services for pregnant women, newborns, children and adolescents; and
  • monitor and measure progress in implementation survival, health, growth and development.
Departmental goals and targets (up to 2015)

In line with the Medium Term Strategic Plan, and recognising the importance of the Secretary General’s Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health which prioritises action in the 49 highest burden, low-income countries, the Department has set the following goals and targets:

  • high-burden countries are supported to ensure evidence-based policies and strategies are in place to achieve universal access to high quality health services for MNCAH; and
  • high-burden countries to increase coverage and quality of effective MNCAH interventions among pregnant women, newborns, children and adolescents.

3. Improving health along the continuum of care

MCA is committed to working with countries to improve access to, coverage and quality of health services for pregnant women, newborns, children and adolescents, as specified below.

  • Care during pregnancy, child birth and the postnatal period
  • Care in the newborn period and in childhood
  • Care during adolescence

4. Strategic directions

The following three strategic directions will guide the work of the Department. They are in line with the mission statement and goals stated above.

  • Develop evidence-based norms and standards to support policies and strategies, for maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health.
  • Support action to achieve universal access to quality, integrated health services for women, children and adolescents.
  • Monitor and evaluate progress to inform planning and implementation, and promote accountability.

5. Working across the three levels of the Organization

The Department will take full advantage of WHO’s three-tiered structure to support countries in translating knowledge into effective action for the achievement of maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health goals.

6. Working with other departments and with partners

No single actor is equipped to face the global challenge alone. The Department will contribute to building broad-based partnerships within and outside the Organization, and work collaboratively with them to achieve its goals.

7. Structure of the Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health

In order to deliver on the above priority actions, the department needs to be fit for purpose.

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